This month a quartet of energy metering ICs have been unveiled by Analog Devices, Inc., to improve the accuracy and performance of commercial, industrial, and residential smart meters.
ADI's new ADE7878, ADE7868, ADE7858, and ADE7854 energy metering ICs have been designed to enable smart electricity meters to deliver improved customer billing accuracy, advanced power quality monitoring, and reduced operating costs for utility companies.
ADI claims to have supplied more than 250 million ICs for use in energy meters worldwide. In this news analysis article Analog Design Line Europe's editor, Paul Buckley finds out more about the significance of the new generation of energy metering ICs in this expanding market by interviewing Mack Lund who is Manager of Analog Devices' Energy Metering group.
Analog Design Line Europe: Where does this energy metering ICs family announcement fit in the bigger picture of global energy efficiency?
Lund: We are seeing a lot of excitement about the so-called Smart Grid and the Smart Grid roll-out that is happening worldwide. There are a lot of promises around the Smart Grid technology. We hear promises of increased robustness and reliability of electricity delivery. We see the opportunity to provide for easier connection of new renewable energy sources. We see the opportunity overall to have increased efficiency.
However, we also do see a number of challenges with the Smart Grid. Just a few examples include: What do you measure? How do you measure? How do you communicate the data that you measure that is needed to reliably roll out the Smart Grid?
Also how do you manage inherent uncertain availabilities, for example, renewable energy sources off the Grid? Previously the Grid was a little more uncertain and had only a few parameters for measurement we are now seeing much greater complexity.
As a company we have seen this kind of growing complexity and sophistication opportunity within this market and we have acted to organize ourselves to address this new segment. Our new dedicated energy group will provide a better focus on these new opportunities and provide a better linkage between customer needs and our technology group.
A couple of examples of these kind of opportunities include the fact that today more and more governments are mandating Smart Grid technologies or other energy infrastructure investments. Of course, China is probably the largest of those and has announced $596 billion in energy infrastructure investments that include the deployment of more than 150 billion smart meters. There are also a number of large scale deployments that are already happening or have already happened in North America and throughout the rest of the world.
Eighteen million homes, which is 13 percent of all U.S. households, will get smart meters within three years as part of U.S. government grants to upgrade the country's electric grid. In Europe, Italy and Sweden have already completed Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) deployments that converted all meters to smart meters. France, Spain, Germany, and the United Kingdom are expected to complete AMI roll-out within the next 10 years.
We see energy metering as being at the heart of all this Smart Grid investment.